123D Design Desktop 1.5: Bringing the Family Together

The latest release of 123D Design for Windows and Mac doesn’t just have some cool new features - it actually helps to bring the whole 123D ecosystem together as a suite of tools for design and fabrication.

So what’s new? Some hints were already on the last version of 123D Design: we introduced the ability to open, insert and do some editing to meshes. You could open projects generated in 123D Catch right from MyProjects inside 123D Design, and also send to 3D print via Meshmixer using a one-click workflow.

Let me now explain what’s new with 1.5 and why it’s really great news for all of you.

First of all, whenever you import a mesh from 123D Catch, it most likely needs healing. In release 1.4, if you wanted to combine or subtract another mesh or solid, the meshes had to be watertight (meaning that there could be no gaps). Another issue had to do with the density of the meshes, which could make the operation slow or make it fail. So if you have a mesh that needs some help, you had to open Meshmixer, import the mesh again, do the necessary fixes and then import back into Design.

With the 1.5 release, we reduced a couple steps. By selecting any object in 123D Design, you will see an option to send to Meshmixer. This will automatically open Meshmixer with only that selection open, ready to edit. Then you can clean, remesh, reduce, sculpt, mash up, create patterns, or whatever else you wanted to do. Afterwards, simply export back into Design and you will then be able to reinsert the piece in the same location!

Another interesting use case is if you want to fabricate your design using 123D Make. You now have two options for this. You can send the entire model from the AppMenu > Send to > 123D Make. This will open 123D Make desktop with the file already imported. But now you can just send a selection by using the context menu. So if you have some extra pieces in the model that you don’t want to delete before exporting, or if you want to use different fabrication options inside 123D Make for different parts of your model (like interlocked slices for some parts but stacked slices for other parts).

The same criteria can be used for 3D printing. You can either prepare the entire file (from AppMenu > 3D Print or Ctrl+P) or just a selection (from the contextual menu) and send it to MeshMixer, which will directly open the 3D print utility. You can then analyze the part, create support for the overhangs, and print right to your desktop printer or order the part from different services (Sculpteo, iMaterialise, Shapeways).

This connection between the apps makes it quite easy to move across different processes. You can think of 123D Design as a path to both additive and subtractive manufacturing solutions (Meshmixer and 123D Make respectively).

Since we can now move selections across different applications, it really made sense to be able to also export a selection as a 123dx file or an STL file. This is also a quite useful new feature in 123D Design desktop.

But that's not all! For a while now, users have been asking for a better solution to create text. We've been working on it and we are now proud to present the new Text feature! First of all, it works offline, like the rest of the app. Secondly, it uses your system fonts! Last but not least, you can also throw the text into a sketch, so you will be able to perform different, independent operations with each closed profile. Not bad, right?

Just one more thing. Although you can use Meshmixer to process models for 3D printing - both at home and with 3rd party printers - you can also order a 3D print directly from 123D Design, provided it’s already saved in MyProjects. We've also added a new service provider - 3D Hubs!

3D Hubs provides the ability to connect with 3D printer owners near where you live or work. So if you want a fast delivery (or maybe even see your printer in person), you can print through 3D Hubs directly through 123D Design.

So check out 123D Design Desktop 1.5 and make sure you also have 123D Make and Meshmixer for a more complete experience! Also, keep sending feedback - most changes are directly from you guys, our rad users!

Bryan Allen Will Decimate Your World

You may have seen a new trend in fashion and design: the angular, panelized look.  If you've ever wondered how that's done then read on!  Featured 123D user Bryan Allen has written this instructable on how to do it with 123D Make.  Check out Bryan's decimated chess pieces below, and download the full set on 123Dapp.com.

Bryan Allen is a prolific maker with serious design and 3D printing chops.  He's founding partner in Smith/Allen Design Studio and is the Chief Design Officer over at Type A Machines, a San Francisco based 3D printer company.


While working with Bryan on integrating the Type A 3D Printers into Autodesk MeshMixer we gave him a sneak peak into a new feature for 123D Make: the ability to easily panelize (or "decimate") a 3D model and export it for 3D printing.  Bryan took off and ran with it - and he's written this Instructable on how it's done.  Not only is 123D Make free, but so are tens of thousands of 3D models in our gallery.  So what are you waiting for?  Check out Bryan's InstructableDownload 123D Make and try it yourself.

Here's another example of some models standing next to their 123D Make-decimated counterparts:

What do you want to decimate?  With Autodesk's free design and fabrication tools and Bryan's instructions the possibilities are endless.  Thanks Bryan!

 

123D Make 3D DIY Projects. Made With Cricut.

photo of paper projects next to a Cricut Explore machine

Looking for a fun DIY project, but not prolific with scissors or don’t own a laser cutter? We’re happy to announce that Autodesk 123D has partnered with Cricut to bring a series of easy-to-assemble 3D DIY projects to Makers and Crafters. From rocket ships to dinosaurs to smartphone stands, these projects will delight and entertain boys and girls of all ages whether you’re 5 or 50!
 

All you need to get started is an affordable Cricut Explore™ electronic cutting machine, the free online Cricut Design Space™ software, and off-the-shelf poster board. Cardboard brown is no longer your only color option!


The first 8 projects are pictured below, clicking on them will take you to their respective project pages.  If you already own a Cricut Explore, load up the poster board and start cutting! The smartphone stand will make a great Fathers' Day present!

And make sure to keep checking back on Autodesk 123D's Blog and Cricut Partner Page, as well as Cricut's Autodesk Projects Page for even more projects!


What's the origin story of these beautiful projects, you ask? These first-of-its-kind 3D Cricut projects started off as 3D models from the 123Dapp.com gallery. The models were then infused with the unique slicing technology of 123D Make and transformed into easy-to-assemble cut patterns!

 

p/s. Full instructions coming soon to an Instructable near you! 

The Blood Moon – Tonight!

Eerie name for a blog post, right? Well have no fear, it all comes back to our theme of the month - space! Tonight those of us on Earth will play witness to a full lunar eclipse, affectionately nicknamed "The Blood Moon" due to the reddish-orange color the moon will take on just past 3am Eastern. 

This moon marks the first of four total eclipses that will conclude in September 2015, a phenomenon known as a tetrad. We hope to see you out there gazing skyward, hoping to uncover the mysteries of the universe while using the rare event as an opportunity to say words like "umbra," and to make use of all the awesome moon and moon-related models living in the 123D gallery

For more information on where you can view this stellar event (see what we did there?), check out this site.

Maker Mondays: FabCafe Tokyo

Maker Mondays: FabCafe Tokyo

http://fabcafe.com/

About a year ago at SXSW I met the incredible people from Fab Cafe Tokyo. Their english was a little hard to understand so we spoke in sign: I would hold up an object in their booth and they would throw me a thumbs up. One particular object solicited a high five - at first I was a bit puzzled and then very excited, because as it turns out they were using 123D with their customers to create some truly creative work. 

Fab Cafe sits uniquely between a TechShop and a high end coffee bar. They have created a relaxed atmosphere that is the perfect learning environment for digital manufacturing, a topic that can leave some novices with a tech hangover. Specializing in amazing coffee, highly thought-out courses, and a pristine workshop environment, I can hardly imagine a better remedy than to spend all day every day there swimming among the creatives of Tokyo. 

I recently caught up with Fab Cafe to learn about their extremely busy past year, plans for global impact, and their self created 123D Catch booth (with a little assistance from my Autodesk counterparts in Tokyo).

JHA: How did Fab Café begin? 

FC: We had a workshop with FabLab Kamakura member for 2 days in 2011. They brought various digital fabrication tools and we enjoyed them very much. We also figured out how digital fabrication tools are easy and they inspired our creativity. We thought all should be able to access these tools. Not in a lab, university and factory. That's why we put these machines in an open space - a cafe.  

JHA: Are there future plans for expanding FabCafé? 

FC:  We have branches in Taipei and Barcelona now. And we will set up another two in Barcelona soon. 

We've got many inquiries from all over the world so we hope we will setup ten FabCafe's in the world in 2014. They will lead diversity of creativity.  

The advantage of digital fabrication tools are that their data is digital and easy to transfer via internet. So we can share ideas and data and output them whenever there are tools. We can expand FabCafe network without geographical limitation.   

JHA: What has surprised you most about your customers? 

FC:  Yusuke Ohno is our customers and is also our collaborator. His work "360 degree book" is featured by many blogs, art sites and big fashion brand offered him to display his work in the store. Finally, the US company offered him to make his original 360 degree lamp shade for sale. It's a wonderful story that a work made in FabCafe became international famous art work and became a product.

We are inspired by our customers all time. 

JHA: Can you tell us a bit more about the 123D Courses? 

FC: We installed 3D printers FabCafe last May. Many customers were interested in 3D printer but they feel it's difficult to make 3D model. But it's not true. We want to change their mind. 3D modeling is accessible and 3D printer is also accessible for all. So we started Fab Class for entry users using 123D series. We have two courses.  One is using 123D creature, the other is using Tinkercad. It's great thing that most of participants print out their work by 3D printer after the class.

 

 

 

 

123D Make, Self Portrait as Kali

Self Portrait as Kali p1 

Anna Kaziunas France's sculpture "Self Portrait as Kali" was created from several photographs using the program ReconstructMe. She created two 3d models that were then merged with MeshMixer to create two sets of arms on a single torso. Both sets of arms are broken off at the forearms, as if the original scan were of an ancient statue that had been damaged over time. The final 3D model was sliced into 125 individual flat pieces using 123D Make, then routed on a ShopBot PRS Standard out of 1/2" MDF. The slices were then assembled and painted by hand.

The skull beads that make up the necklace and the belt were created from a 123D Catch scan of a single prop skull. OpenSCAD was used to import and manipulate the the skull scan into single and multi-face skull beads. The beads were smoothed with MeshMixer and printed on a first generation MakerBot Replicator. The beads were individually painted and strung as a belt and necklace, then used to adorn the assembled body.

123D Make cut outs of sculpture

This work has been displayed at the 3D Printed sculpture show "Bits to Its" at the Landing Gallery, in Rockport, ME and debuted in "Saturnalia" at the Candita Clayton Gallery in Pawtucket, RI. 

 

#FANTASIZ3D

 

Sculpture Details:

Title: Self Portrait as Kali

Medium: printed plastic, routed MDF, paint

Date of Creation: 11/19/2012

Size:

32.5" tall

26.194" wide

12.228" deep

 

123D Make, Self as Kali

123D Make

 

Top 5 3D Printing Features in the new Autodesk Meshmixer

 

Autodesk Meshmixer free all-in-one 3D printing application

Autodesk Meshmixer free all-in-one 3D printing and more application.

Autodesk Meshmixer updated today with a nice all-in-one suite for 3D printing, making it the ultimate free sculpting, mixing, painting, 3D printing application out there. Most notably, when you are ready to print your multi-mesh mashup, you can click the "Print" button which loads an arsenal of simple analysis and layout tools to arrange, heal, and even print directly to a 3D printer. See the video below for an quick teaser of what is new.

 The integration with 3D printers is intended to make the process to 3D printing even more streamlined. The healing tools require no training at all and will make just about any model printable. If you want to save time and material, then you can give your model a wall thickness so that it's hollow inside. Also, the generation of support material is an artform in itself. Of course, the experienced Meshmixer users can still find their original re-meshing, sculpting and healing tools they have grown to love for that extra level of control.

With all that in mind, here are my Top 5 Meshmixer Features for anyone interested in 3D printing.

5. New feature: "Make Solid". Now you can mash a bunch of meshes together and use "Make Solid" to heal them all together into a 3D printable object. See my Danielle Steele-like book cover I whipped together below from some 123D Catch captures I downloaded from 123dapp.com.

Make Solid

Make Solid makes these 123D Catch captures watertight!

 

4. Automatic repairing (I counted 1 click!). Whether it be a messy, unprintable model or you just want a sanity check for 3D printing your refined creation. The addition of an option to automatically "Repair Selected" is an easy hands free way to make any model 3D printable. Find it in the print bed layout screen.

3. "Hollow with Wall Thickness" will save you time and material when printing. Essentially giving your model a wall thickness that you decide, making it a hollow print rather than a solid print with infill. You can visualize how thick your model is with the slick see-through representation.

2. Analysis tools: Strength, Stability, and Slicing. This unique set of tools is perfect for visualizing how your printed model will look and perform before printing it. My favorite is the "Stability" tool where I can make sure my print will stand upright. Using this, I can push the limits of how I mix and sculpt, ensuring the printed object will not topple over!

1. Print direct to your 3D printer (Windows 8.1 supported). Windows 8.1 users will have the option to print directly to their printer, bypassing the need to go through another app such as Makerware, eliminating this extra step.

Don't take my word for it, try it for yourself...its free for Mac or Windows (32/64 bit) at its brand new page: 123dapp.com/meshmixer.

5 Last Minute Holiday Gifts to 3D Print

One of the greatest things about 3D printing technology is the ability to create what you want when you need it, rather than relying on traditional manufacturing routes - especially around the holidays. With Christmas only a few days away, now is the perfect time to forget about overnight shipping costs, so get your 3D printer up and running instead!

We will get you started with 10 ideas of what you can 3D print last minute for you friends and family. Just a note that included with any of these gifts should be a standard speech explaining how 3D printing works - people unfamiliar with the process find it new and fascinating!

 

 

1) You can't go wrong with a classic, customized tree ornament. This one is for 123D Make by user Brandon Cole

 

 

 

 

 

2) You can't go wrong with a bookmark for any friend that loves to read. Check out this octopus bookmark by Natalie Kendrick made using 123D Design

 

 

 

 

3) Jewelry is a great options for creating quick and personalized items for loved ones. Check out this link for tons of pendant and necklace ideas

 

 

 

 

 

4) With miniature terrariums being all the rage these days, your indoor gardening friend will appreciate the thought in adding a little personality to their little ecosystem - like the little 3D printed frog in this one

 

 

 

 

 

5) If you're dreaming of a white Christmas but there's no snow to be found, then consider celebrating with your own model of a snowman to keep the winter cheer alive, like this one by Lindsey Vandenberg

 

 

Bonus: If one of your gift recipients is blown away by your 3D design and printing prowess, be sure to send them towards our holiday deals for their very own MakerBot Replicator 2 and 123D Premium account so they can join in on the 3D printing fun as well.

We hope this list has helped to inspire you during the final countdown towards trading gifts. From all of us at Autodesk 123D, we wish you Happy Holidays and a fantastic New year.

Autodesk University: In the Can.

 

Thanks everyone who dropped by the Creative Studio this past week at Autodesk University in Las Vegas!

We had a great week and enjoyed talking to you.  There's lots of exciting things on the horizon for Autodesk and all our customers, and we're looking forward to next year.  

In spite of the apparent possibility of building a crossbow that will puncture a trash can with wooden skewers, we didn't even have any (serious) injuries from the Office Warfare table!  So all in all, we think it was a success!

Remember: "What happens in Vegas...", BUT if you have any great memories of the conference, let us know!